‘Digitalization’ Is it just a ‘Fashionable Buzzword’?

Digitalization cropDigital transformation sounds like a fad tech or sales buzzword, but it’s a vitally important process for keeping your organisation up to speed and optimized using the latest changes in technology to enhance your throughput and communication.

Sounds so simple!

However, digital transformation can be a complex and daunting process across multiple projects that have a potential impact on every aspect and section of your business. Your processes and workflows link each element of the working of your organization to create an efficient digital operation. It’s not a new way to approach your work, it is instead using technology to do what it was designed to do; HELP!

But to transition to the technology functioning fully will most likely involve stepping out of your comfort zone and potentially learning new skills. There may be redundancies or role changes within your organization as you may need new job titles like ‘data scientists’ or ‘systems analysts’ as your business starts to need different skill sets to meet the demands of technology as it changes and improves your working existence.

In essence, when done right, it’s all about changing the way you adapt your operation to new technologies rather than simply adopting them. The information produced requires CEO’s, managers, IT departments and even entry-level employees to adopt different mindsets, embrace change and react to the information that makes the technology do more for you to empower you to become more productive.

So what is this Digitalization or Digital transformation that I must action?

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation says that “organizational change is the foundation of digital business transformation”. Changing the nature of an organisation means changing the way people work though challenging their existing mindsets by examining the daily work processes and strategies that they rely upon. These organizational changes are the kind that people tend to resist but upon reflection they also yield the most worthwhile rewards.

Digitalization empowers a business to become more efficient, nimble and having created time to take advantage of more business opportunities by using technology to digitize the mundane and predictable.

Is digital transformation really that important?

Well that depends, Do you think making more money is important? According to analyst house IDC, Digital transformation has the potential to create additional business value of $18 trillion.

This $18 trillion statistic is bolstered by Gartner’s CIO Agenda that suggests that by as soon as 2020 digital business will represent an average of 36% of a business’s revenue.

In addition to this they reported that:

  • 66% of companies doing digital transformation expect to generate more revenue
  • 48% predict that more business will come from digital channels
  • 40% saw the benefit of empowering employees with digital tools
  • 39% started digital transformation to reduce costs.

It’s clear that NOW is the time to start, or complete, for your own digital transformation journey. Unless of course making more money is not as important to you as it is to your competitors.

What do I do to digitalize my operation?

Transforming a business goes far beyond technology, in fact this is often why organizations typically resist change. The route is often reported to be a bad experience by those having plumbed for an off the shelf product that forces the company to adopt the working processes of the software, rather than the software adapt to improve upon the existing proven working process.

Equally those that were unfortunate and experienced the prolonged agony of bespoke software development by large software houses charging extra for delays or costly reworking to new specifications will resist. This is why the path to true success is total change from the top to the bottom of your organisation but in a way that is approved of. Everyone must be on board with the clear goal of successfully doing more by making things easier by automating more. Involve your teams, challenge their mindsets, generate buy in among all staff and make known what the benefits of the digitalized way of working will be for all.

Some may fear losing their position to the technology, helping them understand that there will be new and exciting roles eventually created as things evolve and that they might like to be trained up to fill them, could save ‘the poison seed of negativity towards change’ from spreading. There is always an upside if you want to find one and training up an existing stable member of your team is generally a better solution than out and out change.

The journey does often start with looking at the technology, so it’s worth examining what that actually means here.

Managed Services – The IT Dream

The technology that will help drive a business’s objectives and give it forward momentum often has to involve features that evolve, changing year after year.

Look at your organization’s current IT tools. Are they the same ones they were 5, 10, 15 years ago? If they are, then have they changed much or at all? Are they still fit for purpose?

Most will find that many areas of the business have changed several times or paid several times over for necessary changes and development. This is where SaaS becomes a delight.

The nature of serving a multitude of businesses, which are all feeding in ideas or demands for technical enhancements, opens up a reduced cost and an evolving technical landscape of features that keep you with the right tools for the job without migration or excessive development costs every few years.

For example, one of the biggest challenges firms face is securely storing and analysing the huge amounts of data they collect over time. Paying for servers, hardware and staff to maintain storing a massive unusable asset, is daft especially when you consider the cost and time spent generating all that data in the first place.

Getting the right tools to provide the bespoke reports you want, from real time and historical data, means firms can gain business insights and understand business process behavior better. Better still they can adjust their processes and workflows quickly to take advantage, creating opportunities.

This puts Managed Services, especially PaaS / SaaS like Requestbox, near the top of the list for most businesses to acquire ASAP. The cloud is a must for this because it provides a reliable way to store data without having to refresh on-premise servers every four years or so.

Collaboration in the Cloud

Collaboration tools that allow staff to work more productively and flexibly give huge boosts to productivity. File sharing from a central cloud platform lets colleagues collaborate on documents wherever they’re based, ensuring version control without building up multiple versions of document as they are updated by different people sapping away at email server space being sent around, CC’ing in all involved.

Mobile devices now allow staff to message each other and view shared files meaning no train journey ever has to be wasted time. You could even improve employee satisfaction by giving them the option of working from home, or out of the office, when necessary while still enforcing accountability and timely actions.

Discussing the right digital transformation strategy for your business

Digital transformation can be a complicated process and finding the right strategy for your organisation can be one of the most important factors to obtaining the digital freedom and productivity it provides.

Deloitte’s report, ‘Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation’, discusses the merits of looking to create a strategy for rolling out a path to digital maturation rather than the technology itself. Technology changes and adapts over time and it’s likely that in a few years, the technology your business needs will change. However, it’s vital that the way in which you implement that technology is watertight to prevent any hiccups along the way.

The report explains the importance of scopes and objectives in a digital transformation strategy, with the technology as the last consideration. It’s the technology that enables the processes to be fulfilled, but it’s the way in which it is implemented that will have the biggest impact on company success.

For us this is an vitally important point and we want to ensure the chicken and egg argument doesn’t delay your progress. As we have technology and you have the business that could benefit from it, talk to us, we can help you understand what the technology can do when you educate us on your processes. It is only when both having an outline a truly successful strategy can be developed.

And with that conversation in mind we will end the article with this statement:

The most defined strategy is the best map for us to use to configure your tools so that they become implemented quickly and smoothly, expediting your efficient digital operation for increased productivity and profit.

Call 01256 962930 or email hello@requestbox.net to discuss your Requestbox.

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